Governor Jay Nixon will be in attendance as the University of Central Missouri inaugurates their new president Thursday.  Click to hear KMZU’s Bob Allen talk with University of Central Missouri Assistant Director of Public Relations Jeff Murphy:

Jeff Murphy

Murphy says Dr. Charles Ambrose has been serving as University President since August of last year and felt there were several issues that took priority over his inauguration.  Ambrose wanted to handle an academic and administrative review because of cuts in state funding.

The ceremony was scheduled in order to maximize alumni attendance as this week is homecoming week at the University.  According to Murphy, many alums come to town for the weekend’s festivities and it was a great opportunity to showcase Dr. Ambrose’s work since taking over as president. In addition, Provost George Wilson cancelled all 9:30 and 11:00 a.m. classes so that interested students can attend the event.

Nixon is scheduled to speak during the ten o’clock ceremony at the Multipurpose Building.  Following Ambrose’s official installation, a community-wide picnic will take place in front of the Eliot Union Mall.

Press Release from University of Central Missouri

WARRENSBURG, MO – Joining in the University of Central Missouri’s tradition of honoring new presidents through an inauguration ceremony, Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon will help UCM celebrate the installation of Charles Ambrose as the institution’s 15th president. The governor is scheduled to speak during the investiture ceremony at 10 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 6 in the Multipurpose Building.

The ceremony is open to the public, and the inauguration of Ambrose, who began his duties Aug. 1, 2010, is part of a week of homecoming activities. After his busy first year as president, the university is honoring a tradition of presidential inaugurations while planning the festivities in conjunction with the annual Homecoming week celebration which brings many alumni back to UCM. Those attending the installation festivities also are invited to attend a community-wide picnic at the Elliott Union Mall immediately following the ceremony.

UCM is making it possible for more students to attend the inauguration. George Wilson, provost and chief learning officer, has announced that all classes beginning at 9:30 a.m. and 11 a.m. will be canceled on Oct. 6. Students are encouraged to attend the investiture ceremony as well as the picnic that follows.

Other activities that are planned during the week include a special event at 4:30 to 6 p.m. Monday, Oct. 3 at the UCM Summit Center, 850 NW Chipman Road in Lee’s Summit. This is an opportunity for students to enjoy food and soft drinks while getting to engage with Ambrose. UCM’s academic deans also will be there to serve ice cream to students.

At 3 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 4, students on the Warrensburg campus will undertake an array of community service projects that benefit local non-profit agencies. They will dedicate their hours of service to Ambrose, and celebrate with a dinner immediately following their volunteer work in the community. Ambrose also plans to use the inauguration as an opportunity to visit with Lee’s Summit andKansas City area leaders through a coffee and luncheon made possible by metropolitan area sponsors.

Prior to accepting the leadership position at UCM, Ambrose served for 12 years as president of Pfeiffer University, an independent, comprehensive institution located in Misenheimer, N.C.  Since arriving at UCM, he has helped guide the institution through the building of a new strategic governance model in partnership with the Association of Governing Boards, which includes an extensive administrative and academic review process. This is designed to provide a stronger, more viable educational experience for students, while also cutting operational costs. Under his leadership, the university also is currently developing a strategic positioning initiative, and most recently celebrated the largest enrollment in the institution’s 140-year history.

Ambrose has worked his entire professional career in higher education administration and advocacy.  In addition to his presidency at Pfeiffer, he served as vice president for advancement at Carson-Newman College, assistant to the chancellor for university advancement at Western Carolina University, and executive assistant to the president at the American Association of State Colleges and Universities in Washington, D.C.  He’s also a former faculty member, having taught graduate classes in higher education administration and legal issues. Ambrose has participated in many scholarly and professional activities throughout his career, and served for two years as chair of the National Collegiate Athletic Association Division II President’s Council.

The inauguration ceremony Oct. 6 can be viewed live via streaming video.  For more information about inauguration week festivities, call the UCM Office of Alumni and Development at 660-543-8000.